WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – WhatsApp will be charged Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group on Tuesday, accusing it of helping the government spies to break into the phones of approximately 1,400 users across four continents, in a hacking spree, in which the targets included diplomats, political dissidents, journalists, and senior government officials.
A FILE PHOTOGRAPH of Men posing with the smartphones, the front side of the display, Whatsapp logo, in this picture, September 14, 2017. REUTERS/dado Ruvic
In a lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco, or of the messaging service WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook Inc, accused of NSO to facilitate the government’s hacking attack in 20 different countries. In Mexico, the United Arab Emirates (uae) and saudi arabia were the only countries to be identified.
WhatsApp said in a statement that the 100 members of the civil society organizations had been targeted, and called it “an unmistakable pattern of abuse.”
NSO did not deny the allegations.
“In the strongest possible terms, the challenge we have today is that the allegations and will vigorously fight them,” NSO said in a statement. “The purpose of the NSO is to bring the technology to deliver it to the authorized government of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies in order for them to help in the fight against terrorism and organised crime.”
WhatsApp said that the attack was used in the video-call system for the transmission of malware to the mobile devices of the users. The malware would allow the NSO’s clients have said that the united states government and the intelligence organisations, in order to secretly spy on a mobile phone of the owner, and the opening of the digital life, official review.
WhatsApp messenger is used by approximately 1.5 billions of people on a monthly basis and is often recommended to have a high level of security including end-to-end encrypted messages that cannot be decrypted by WhatsApp or any other third party.
Citizen Lab, a cybersecurity research lab at the University of Toronto, ontario that works with WhatsApp, in order to investigate the phone-hacking, told Reuters that the targets included well-known television personalities and prominent women who had been subjected to online hate campaigns and people who had faced “assassination attempts and the threat of violence.”
Nor the Citizen Lab, nor WhatsApp have determined that the objectives through the use of the name.
Governments have increasingly turned to the use of advanced hacking software as well as the officials try to have their surveillance powers in the far reaches of the citizens in their digital lives.
Companies such as NSO, say that their technology enables the civil servants to bypass the encryption, which is increasingly to protect the data on phones and other mobile devices. However, the authorities rarely get to talk to you about their opportunities in the community, what does that mean for the digital intruders, such as those that affected WhatsApp is usually done in the west.
WhatsApp messenger has been said that the legal action was unprecedented, saying that it was the first time that there is a secure messaging service provider, is taking legal action against a private entity that has carried out this type of denial of service attack against it’s users.”
The lawsuit would have a NSO will be excluded from the access to, or any attempt to gain access of WhatsApp, and Facebook’s services, and seeks unspecified damages.
NSO’s phone hacking software has been involved in a series of violations of the human rights situation in Latin America and the Middle East, including an extensive espionage scandal in Panama, and in an attempt to spy on is a member of the London-based rights group Amnesty International.
NSO was a very strict control over the fact that the spyware has played a role in the death of a new york times journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was assassinated at the Saudi arabian Consulate in Istanbul for a little over a year ago.
FILE PICTURE: A 3D-printed Facebook-logo will be displayed on the front of the binary digits in this illustration, the 18th of March 2018. REUTERS/dado Ruvic/Illustration
Khashoggi’s friend, Omar Abdulaziz, is one of the seven activists and journalists, who are aware of spyware, the district court, in Israel and Cyprus over allegations that their phones were being compromised with the NSO and technology. Amnesty international has also filed a lawsuit, demanding that the Israeli Ministry of Defence to withdraw the NSO’s export licence, and to stop taking advantage of state-sponsored repression.”
NSO has recently tried to clean up its image after it was acquired by the London-based private equity firm that Novalpina Capital earlier this year. In August, the NSO is co-founder and Shalev Hulio, appeared on “60 Minutes,” and boasted that his spyware had saved “tens of thousands of people.” He does not provide any information.
NSO has also brought a series of high-profile advisers, including former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, and Juliette Kayyem, a senior lecturer in international relations at Harvard University. The previous month, the NSO announced that it would begin adhering to U. N. guidelines on violations of human rights.
Reporting by Raphael satter, Washington, Elizabeth Illustrator in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Leslie Adler